LIVE BLOG: Pittsburgh Regional Round One

No. 31 Towson and No. 32 Penn State are set to kick off this Pittsburgh regional. Towson has been strong all season long with its 16th ranked bars team propelling the Tigers to the program’s first EAGL title and a second straight regionals appearance. Penn State started out the season slow, but the Nittany Lions built momentum as the season went on to qualify back to regionals after missing the cutoff last season. If we look at conference championships and both teams’ NQS, Towson should come out on top here and move on to round two, but the margin is razor-thin. 

If you have not seen Towson’s bars lineup yet this season, you’re overdue for a treat. Freshman Isabella Minervini has been a star for Towson on this event and will qualify to day two even if the team does not, along with her fellow bars star Grace Vaillancourt. Penn State has been strong on vault this season and showcases huge variety, including beautiful Omelianchiks from Ava Piedrahita and Bella Salcedo. You won’t want to miss a moment of the second rotation.

Rotation 1: Towson vault, Penn State bars

Weitz (TOW): Great landing on her full to start. Almost stuck. 9.75

Johanson (PSU): Big tkatchev. High pak. Short on low bar hs. Stuck the double layout dismount. 9.825

Poblete (TOW): Full on tuck off. Block a little off on the table and landed with a step and lowish chest. 9.7

Johnston (PSU): Missed first toe on and had to repeat before the Maloney to bail. Really cowboyed the double back dismount, but found the landing. 9.675

Hoffman (TOW): Bigger full than the leadoff with some piking and a small hop back. 9.775

Vihrova (PSU): Big jaeger, some feet. Clean bail. Great giant full and hopped back on the double tuck. 9.775

Bolen (TOW): Leg separation on the table going into her full. Stuck the landing though with a good chest position.

Gallentine (PSU): Slightest leg separations on the Maloney to pak combination. Step back on the double layout dismount. 9.8

Vitoff (TOW): Great body position in her full with a stuck landing. She held on with her toes. 9.8

Piedrahita (PSU): Clean Maloney to pak connection. Flexed feet on the FTDB dismount with a step back. 9.8

Belanovski (TOW): Great amplitude on her full with just the smallest hop back. Pretty open hips. 9.85

Rushlow (PSU): Wonky in the air on the jaeger, but it was well connected to the overshoot. Fell out of the sky on the FTDT with a hop and some feet. 9.9

After 1: Penn State 49.100, Towson 49.000

This was very close after one rotation. Towson did well to have some clean landings to minimize deductions there and keep close to Penn State. The Nitty Lions were strong on the bars with some steps on landings, but the back half of the lineup did well to boost the team score.

Rotation 2: Penn State vault, Towson bars

Vihrova (PSU): Hop forward on the front pike, but great pike position.

Keener (TOW): Strong jaeger to overshoot. A little over on the giant full, but glues her legs together on the double tuck to stick the landing.

Johnston (PSU): Just about stuck that full. Good body position.

Greene (TOW): Beautiful Endo to piked jaeger to overshoot. Stalder was clean into the double tuck with a step.

Rushlow (PSU): Not the highest full and some piking and soft knees. Hop on the landing. 9.775

Hong (TOW): Great piked jaeger. Clean bail. Double front with her legs glued together with a tiny step on the landing. I am loving the lack of leg separation. 9.85

Salcedo (PSU): Not a lot of distance on her Omelianchik. Large step forward.

Vitoff (TOW): Might have been short on the first handstand. Clear hip to gainer with leg separation to overshoot was good. Small step on the FTDB.

Johanson (PSU): Solid landing on her full. Just a hop back. Great dynamics.

Vaillancourt (TOW): High jaeger to overshoot. Hop in place on the double layout.

Piedrahita (PSU): Much better distance on that Omelianchik. Great pike position in the air and a great landing. 9.85

Minervini (TOW): Great turnover on the jaeger to pak. Beautiful double layout with legs together and a stuck landing. 9.925

After 2: Towson 98.175, Penn State 98.050

Penn State did not get the desired landings, but thanks to Towson also not having the highest scoring bars rotation, this dual remains close after two.

Rotation 3: Towson beam, Penn State floor

Bolen (TOW): Popped the front foot on the loso series. Off on the front toss. Clean switch to straddle quarter. Stuck the bhs gainer full dismount. Not the way to start.

Johnston (PSU): Big double pike with a hop to the lunge. Another hop to lunge landing on the Rudi. A little arch on the second skill of the back 1.5 to front layout. 9.775

Stuart (TOW): Clean full turn to start. Check on the loso series, but stays on. Check after the front toss. Clean jump comboination. Very tentative on these leaps and the dance. Holds the stick on the back 1.5 with a lean.

Piedrahita (PSU): Slight shift of the front foot on the double pike landing. Clean on the back 1.5 to front full. Solid leaps. Stuck the double tuck at the end before showing off the lunge. 9.85

Hong (TOW): Clean on the side aerial to side aerial. Very solid split jump to split 3/4s. I think she did that combo twice? She stuck the back 1.5 dismount. That was a great rebound.

Johanson (PSU): Slid the front foot back and had a lower chest on the double pike to open. Clean back 1.5 to front half to stretch jump. Step forward on the double tuck.

Vaillancourt (TOW): Low landing on the standing front tuck to beat jump, but square. Falls on the loso series. Clean switch to switch. Stuck the gainer full dismount.

Towson now counting a beam fall.

Vihrova (PSU): Clean FTDT. Controlled landing. Switch ring to tour jete half to wolf full was clean. Large step forward on the front layout to front full.

Weitz (TOW): Cery smooth switch to loso to beat jump. Clean on the front aerial to split jump. Break at the waist check on the loso series. Stuck the cartwheel gainer full dismount.

Salcedo (PSU): Decently controlled double front. Cowboy in the air. Clean front layout to front full to front pike.

Keener (TOW): Very solid loso series. Switch to tuck 3/4s was clean. Slow connection with the cat leap to front toss. Hop back on the gainer full dismount.

Herring (PSU): Step back on the double arabian. She sat one of those down in warm ups, but it was strong here. Switch side half to straddle jump had good amplitude. Clean back 1.5 to front layout.

After 3: Penn State 147.275, Towson 146.350

Towson put itself into a big hole in this rotation by counting a fall and some shaky routines. Penn State was strong on floor and will be looking to hit five beam rotations to hold on to the top spot in this meet and move on to tomorrow.

Rotation 4: Penn State beam, Towson floor

Piedrahita (PSU): Solid loso series. Very clean full turn. Adjustment on the cat leap to side aerial. Clean jump combination. Very solid so far. Bends forward to hold the stick on the back 1.5.

Belanovski (TOW): Her foot skid forward on the landing on the front double full, but stops herself from falling. Front tuck stepout through to Rudi with the front foot sliding back. Switch side half to straddle half to Popa to finish.

Johanson (PSU): Clean landing on the loso series. Beat jump to side aerial with a lean. Cat leap to switch side was solid. Hop forward on the back 1.5.

Weitz (TOW): Front through to double back with a solid landing. Clean rotation on the leaps. Very solid on the double pike to end.

Salcedo (PSU): Some feet and a small adjustment on the loso series. Lean on the standing front tuck. Solid on the jump combo. Holds the stick on the punch front full dismount.

Calafati (TOW): Clean landing onthe opening combo pass. Rudi to layout was clean. Great height on the back layout.

Gibble (PSU): Fall on the opening front aerial. Tried to stay on with a large leg up, but couldn’t. Tries to repeat for her series, but breaks the connection into the back tuck. Tentative on the dance. Small check on the switch side. Clean beat jump to ring jump. Step on the back 1.5 dismount.

Vaillancourt (TOW): A couple of steps back out of the sky high double tuck. Solid back 1.5 to front layout. Rudi to a very high and controlled straddle jump to finish.

Rushlow (PSU): Tentative on the opening jump combo, but holds it. Small adjustment on the loso series. Falls on the cat leap to side aerial. This just got interesting. Small hop on the back 1.5.

Both teams now counting a beam fall.

Casper (TOW): Big lunge back on the opening double pike. Clean combo pass landing. Hops into the lunge on the double tuck.

Johnston (PSU): Very solid loso series. Small shoulder dip on the ring jump. Hit the side aerial. Sticks the back 1.5 dismount.

Minervini (TOW): Very clean landing on the front layout to Rudi. Falls on the double pike second pass. I think Penn State will hold on with that fall.

FINAL: Penn State 195.700, Towson 195.450

Both teams counted a fall on beam so it came down to the floor landings and other beam routines of which Penn State was stronger. Towson’s season will end here, but a couple of individuals will still compete tomorrow. Penn State will compete tomorrow evening and fight for a spot in the top 16 with Florida, Arizona State, and Maryland.

READ THIS NEXT: 2023 Pittsburgh Regional Preview

Live blog by Alyssa Van Auker

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